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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of California

Friday, March 3, 2017

Chico Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Transportation of Child Pornography

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. sentenced Mark McLeod Wygant, 46, of Chico, today to 10 years in prison for transportation of child pornography, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, from early 2011 to early 2012, Wygant surreptitiously filmed a child on numerous occasions using a hidden cellphone and hidden “spy cameras” that he had purchased for that purpose. He then transported those videos and photos from a location in Butte County to South Lake Tahoe, where he worked at the time as a South Lake Tahoe Fire Department captain. The charges do not relate to any conduct committed during the course of his interaction with the public during his job duties. Wygant has been in custody since his arrest on January 29, 2015.

This case was the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the South Lake Tahoe Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew G. Morris prosecuted the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit Click on the “resources” tab for information about internet safety education.

Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 
Updated March 3, 2017